Is there a health risk now that COVID-19 has been found in Watertown’s wastewater?

WWNY Is there a health risk now that COVID-19 has been found in Watertown’s wastewater?

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Now that we know traces of COVID-19 have been detected in all of the wastewater sources in the city of Watertown, many are asking if this directly poses a public health risk?

Clarkson University Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Shane Rogers is part of the team that monitors wastewater at St. Lawrence County universities.

He said there’s not much of a worry. Once the wastewater is treated through a process that uses chlorine, it’s very likely the virus is no longer present.

“It shouldn’t be an area for concern in terms of what might be happening in the environment, or what may be coming into your drinking water.” Rogers said. “But rather understand that it is a way that we can monitor the community and understand whether things are going up or down, and what to do to keep you safe.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the risk of transmission of the COVID virus through properly designed and maintained wastewater systems is thought to be low.

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